The Role of the Judiciary in the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property in East Africa

June 6, 2011 - June 8, 2011
IP Protection and Enforcement workshop in East Africa - Kigali, Rwanda June 6-8, 2011

CLDP led a three-day workshop in Kigali, Rwanda, June 6-8, 2011, focusing on the judiciary’s role in promoting intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement throughout the East African region.  The workshop was designed to increase the skills and knowledge of the participants in trademarks, copyrights and electronic evidence so that they might more fairly, consistently, and efficiently adjudicate IP cases in the region.  Furthermore, it sought to increase awareness of the benefits of enhanced IP enforcement through the participation of a U.S. Federal Court Judge and a U.S. prosecutor who shared their experiences in adjudicating the many prevalent and difficult issues in trademark, patent and copyright matters. 

The workshop comes on the heels of Rwanda’s 2009 new IP law aimed at attracting foreign direct investment and innovation.  Realizing the significance of innovations in the context of sustainable development, the Chief Justice of the Rwandan Supreme Court, Aloysie Cyanzayire, stressed the importance of IPR protection from a commercial standpoint.   Similarly, Trade and Industry Minister, François Kanimba deplored the loss of revenues due to piracy and counterfeiting, but most importantly the public health risk they engender. As such, CLDP’s conference is one of the first of many steps in the technical training and awareness raising necessary to combat these dangers.

Over seventy participants from East African region attended the workshop, including judges and magistrates from Burundi, Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania and Uganda, as well as officials from Rwanda’s Supreme Court, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Justice, National Public Prosecution Authority, Bureau of Standards, and the Rwandan Development Board.  These individuals joined with regional practitioners and academics from the National University of Rwanda, artists, authors and entrepreneurs for a series of panel discussions, practical exercises and exchanges of ideas and best practices.

Both national and regional press and television covered the event, providing excellent reporting to the public about what the conference sought to achieve.  Further, the outcome of this workshop resulted in a series of recommendations for the East African Community members regarding access to legal protection for everyone; sharing judicial opinions in IP cases throughout the region; consistently reviewing and revising each country’s IP statutory framework to ensure that it addresses issues raised by current technologies and deters the most contemporary threats; promoting awareness of IP laws and interest in partnering for the upcoming Africa IP Summit to be held in South Africa in the spring of 2012.
Read press coverage of this event.

Upcoming Programs

August 1, 2020 - April 30, 2021

Throughout the quarter, CLDP engaged with numerous experts to prepare and record eight separate sessions on trade topics, specifically designed for Afghanistan’s approximately 25 Commercial Attachés posted throughout the world. In May 2018, CLDP spent one week training the same group of Attachés in a comprehensive course designed for them prior to their departure. This updated training course is intended to provide more advanced training on relevant topics now that the Attachés have been serving in their posts for more than two years.  The topics for these presentations were identified based on consultations with the Attachés and relevant stakeholders in the last quarter. Topics include drafting international contracts, attracting foreign direct investment, negotiation strategies, and two sessions on working trade shows. The series of pre-recorded virtual presentations, including translated copies of the presentations, will be delivered on a rolling basis to the Attachés. In addition, future topics will be recorded and shared with the participants. These virtual recordings will be saved in an online repository, which will be available for any interested party to view, including the private sector. 

March 15, 2021 - May 24, 2021

CLDP in close collaboration with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trained Bahrain Innovation and Technology Center (BITC) staff regarding filing patents in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).  This program was part of a CLDP/USPTO collaboration to conduct over 40 hours of intellectual property training for the BITC.  The program included training on how to obtain patents and copyrights in the US as well as other jurisdictions.  

CLDP in Action

February 24, 2021 - February 25, 2021

On February 24-25, CLDP conducted a workshop on FIDIC contracts for a delegation of Sri Lankan officials from the Attorney General’s office.

Read More about Sri Lanka: FIDIC Contracts Workshop